How to Crash a Class in College

Three Parts:Before the First DayOn the First DayAfter the First Day

In many universities, classes can be impacted. Colleges often do not have enough funding to supply enough professors to meet the demand. Here are some ways to get into a class when all the spots are full.

Part 1
Before the First Day

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    Waitlist the class, if possible. Professors will often have the option to add students past capacity so long as there are enough chairs. This typically needs to be done before a certain date, so be sure to plan what classes you'd like to take well ahead of time.
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    Email the professor. If you have a special interest in the class, need it as a prerequisite, or need it to graduate, professors may be sympathetic.

Part 2
On the First Day

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    Show up early. If the professor comes early too, this will give you a chance to introduce yourself. The professor may also be able to tell you your chances of getting in. If the professor won't be able to add you, this saves you time and gives you a chance to crash or attend other classes.
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    Be attentive during the class and participate. If the professor asks a question or asks for volunteers, don't hesitate to make yourself known.
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    Talk to the professor after class. Shake hands and introduce yourself, and be sure to reiterate your interest in the class and your reasons for taking it. Ask if it would be okay to attend a few class meetings to see if a spot opens up.

Part 3
After the First Day

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    Follow up with the professor over email and/or in office hours to ask if any spots have opened up.
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    Ask about the possibility of formally auditing the class or even just sitting in on the lectures. Some professors may even offer to grade your homework and exams. You may be able to list the class on your transcript or test out of it in the future.
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    Consider crashing other courses. If the issue is simply having enough units, be adventurous and look at courses you wouldn't normally take, such as dance, psychology, philosophy, or communications.


  • Talk to your advisor. If the course you need is a prerequisite for another, you may be able to take courses out of sequence with professor or advisor permission.
  • If the professor is unable to give you a spot, ask if they can secure a spot for you in a future section.


  • Understand that adding additional students may be prohibited due to space restrictions or fire codes.

Article Info

Categories: College University and Postgraduate